The first month and a half of the 2019 season has not gone according to plan for the Colorado Rapids.
After an impressive offseason littered with MLS-proven acquisitions, the results have not followed. Through eight games, head coach Anthony Hudson's team has stumbled to six losses and two draws. They are the only winless side left in MLS.
All the while, they've conceded a league-high 23 goals, breaking down to a shade under three per game. A sizable chunk have come late, as the Rapids have dropped 10 points from winning positions this season, easily the most in MLS, per Opta.
“The numbers, the way we’ve given up goals – there’s no hiding that we’ve given up the most goals in the league," Keegan Rosenberry told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. "Way too many. The only positive to gain from that is a lot of the goals are preventable, [and] we can easily identify mistakes. At the same time, if we don’t fix them, it’s even more frustrating.”
The Rapids haven't put the blame on anyone other than themselves.
“It’s easy when you hear any sort of critical comment to take it personally and take it in a negative way, but it’s really difficult for us as defenders and the team in general to deny any of that," Rosenberry said when asked about the comments. “I’ll be the first to hold my hand up. We’ve got to be better at the back. It’s not just the back four and Tim [Howard]. We’ve got to defend better as an 11.”
It's not all bad, though.
Rosenberry notes there is a resilient morale around the club, yet to dip despite the tough start to 2019.
“Whether it’s surprising or not, one of our biggest assets and things we’ve done well is morale and accountability," Rosenberry said. "Stretches like this can do really bad things to a locker room, team and staff. ... These can be trying times for a club. That’s one of the things I’ve been most thankful for: the guys in the locker room, the leadership.”
"I was excited about the direction of the team and the potential we had," said Rosenberry, who signed a contract extension with Colorado until 2022, all before the season even began. "What’s important is that is all still there. These results have been certainly frustrating. It's been a disappointing start for everybody involved, but we still have the understanding that we have the potential to get results."
The season is far from over.
“Everybody’s counting us out," Rosenberry added, "but we like it that way.”